Six to enter racing Hall of Fame at speedway
Southern Oregon Speedway will have its third annual Racing Hall of Fame event Saturday, inducting six members.
The hall recognizes stars from the speedway as well as Medford Raceway, Cascade Raceway in White City and the old Ashland track.
The inductees are Markey James, Jim Walker Sr., Jay McCleary, Sam Dykes, Dave Shinn and Freddy Higginbotham. All six are credited with major contributions to racing throughout their storied careers.
Gates open at 5 p.m. and racing begins at 7. The induction ceremony will be held after the heat races.
Walker was a two-time champion at the old White City track who won races at both that venue and the Medford Raceway.
James, whose father was racing legend Cecil James, bears the distinction of winning main events in every decade from the 1960s until he retired in the early 2000s.
McCleary was a two-time street stock champion who won many races at various venues throughout his career.
In an era when hall-of-famers Ben Neel and Harold Hardesty were seemingly winning everything, Dykes was the 1968 champion and won races in the 1960s and 1970s.
Shinn won the inaugural POSSE super stock championship, which pitted some of the best drivers from Oregon and California against each other in fierce competition.
The man flagging some of the biggest races from the 1960s and throughout the 1980s was Higginbotham, and he became one of the most respected officials at Medford Raceway.
In addition to the induction ceremony, there will be racing, with IMCA modifieds, late models, IMCA sport modifieds, mini stocks and hornets.
Points leader Zach Fettinger will be after his straight IMCA modified win. During the past three seasons, few drivers have won more than one race, but Fettinger scored three victories last season as well. He holds a 25-point advantage over 2017 champion Jesse Bailey.
Bailey will be looking for his second win of the season.
Following his third feature triumph of the season last time out, Trent Elliott is pulling away from the pack in the late model championship battle.
This weekend presents a good tune-up opportunity for Elliott as he seeks the $4,000 prize being offered in the Aug. 24 Cottonwood Classic. With a pair of third places, Dave Everson now holds second in the standings ahead of one-time winner Darren Coffell and Dave Foote.
Jorddon Braaten is on a pace to write his name in the book as a three-time IMCA sport modified champion. Braaten has a pair of victories and a 10-point advantage over one-time winner Matt Sanders.
Sanders’ brother, Isaac, is 20 points out of the lead and also has a win to his credit. Two-time champion Mike Medel will be out to see if he can get his first win of the season. He currently ranks fourth ahead of last season's top rookie, Branden Wilson.
Reigning mini stocks champion David Steele leads the charge with four feature victories and a 15-point lead over Ashtin Hedges. Hedges has been consistent and also has a feature win and two trophy dash victories to his credit.
While they battle for the championship, 2017 champ Kristopher Mix and Hunter Magnan have a close battle going for third in the standings. Magnan has a win this year, and Mix is still looking for his first.
Rounding out the program will be the JOAT Labs hornets. The wins have been divided among four-time winner Dylan Sauer and two-time winner Tim Hedges. Sauer leads Hedges by nine points, while Hedges’ wife, Jenna, has a close battle going with rookie Quinton Tritchler for third.